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If you want to spice up your skincare routine a bit and are looking for more wallet-friendly alternatives, homemade body scrubs could be the thing you need. These are easy and fun to make and are just as effective in reviving dull skin and removing dry patches as the conventional store-bought products.
The basic formula is pretty simple – you'll need an exfoliant (like sugar or salt) and a carrier oil (try to avoid nut oils if you have nut allergies). While great for sloughing off dead skin cells on your arms, legs, and back, these homemade exfoliants can be a bit abrasive for the skin on your face – so don't DIY your face scrubs just in case.
Here are four simple homemade body scrub recipes containing ingredients you likely already have in your pantry.
DIY Body Scrub With Sugar
For this recipe, you can use brown sugar, pure cane sugar, or raw sugar, also known as turbinado sugar. Brown sugar is the least abrasive of all three (raw sugar being the most abrasive, and pure cane sugar being somewhere in the middle). For this reason, we'll use brown sugar in this recipe as it's suitable for any skin type (including sensitive) and can be used more than once a week.
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup coconut oil (or any other oil of your choice)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 to 4 drops of lavender (or rosemary) essential oil for an extra soothing experience (this is optional)
- Put the sugar, coconut oil, and honey into a bowl and mix all the ingredients well together (you can also use a blender, but it will be more difficult to scoop out the ingredients later).
- Mix until you get the desired consistency; add more oil if the mixture is too thick or more sugar if it's too thin.
- Scoop the mixture out, and transfer it into a glass jar with a tight lid (any container with a tight lid will do).
Don't worry if the oil starts to separate at the top; that's normal. When using the scrub, mix it with a spoon to even out the blend. Store it in the fridge for no longer than one month.
DIY Body Scrub With Salt
You can use either Epsom salt or sea salt for making this body scrub. Just make sure that the salt is finely ground because salt is naturally more abrasive than sugar. The grittier particles of a salt body scrub are ideal for smoothing out the particularly dry and rough areas of your body, such as your elbows and feet.
- ½ cup sea salt
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 drops essential oil of your choice (our suggestion: use spearmint or orange essential oil for added refreshing aroma)
- First, mix the honey and olive oil to get an even blend.
- Pour salt into a mixing bowl, then add the honey and olive oil mixture. Stir well until you get a nice blend and even consistency.
- If the mixture is too dry, add more oil – it will also make the scrub easier to spread onto the skin.
If you're making a foot spa day, soak your feet first in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes. Then apply the scrub gently, rinse off, and immediately follow up with a nourishing foot cream. Avoid using the salt body scrub if you have minor cuts or wound on your skin since salt can sting. Store in the fridge for no longer than one month.
DIY Body Scrub With Coffee
Ground coffee contains tiny granules that are gentle to the skin but very effective in removing the dead skin layer from the skin's surface. In addition, studies suggest that caffeine-rich creams are effective in treating cellulite.
- ½ cup ground coffee
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cocoa powder, unsweetened
- 2 tablespoons hot water
- 2 tablespoons almond oil
- 2 to 3 drops vanilla extract for aroma
- Mix the ground coffee and cocoa powder with the warm water. Stir thoroughly until you get an even consistency. Add more water if it's too thick and more coffee if it's too thin.
- Then add the sugar and almond oil into the mix and stir well to get a smooth paste.
- Mix in the drops of vanilla extract.
- Transfer the blend into an airtight container.
Bear in mind that, unlike sugar or salt, coffee grounds don't dissolve in water and can, therefore, clog your drain. So just to be safe, use this body scrub outside the shower and remove it with a wet washcloth before jumping back into the shower and rinsing.
DIY Body Scrub With Oatmeal
Oatmeal is soothing and anti-inflammatory, making it suitable for exfoliating the most sensitive skin. It will remove dead skin cells and dry patches while, at the same time, hydrate the skin and calm any irritation.
- ¼ cup colloidal oatmeal (finely ground oats)
- ¼ cup water (or almond milk)
- 1 tablespoon honey (or vegetable glycerin)
- Before mixing all the ingredients, make colloidal oatmeal. Put 1 cup of rolled oats in a blender or food processor and blend until you get a fine powder.
- Combine the oatmeal powder with water (or almond milk) and honey (or glycerin). Stir until you get a smooth paste. If it's too liquid, add more oatmeal, and if it's too thick, add more water or milk.
- Transfer the paste into an airtight container, and store it in the fridge for no longer than two months.
Like with coffee scrub, oatmeal won't dissolve in water – so scrub outside the shower or place a strainer or filter on top of the drain to prevent the small pieces of the scrub from going down.
How Often Should I Use a Body Scrub?
There are no hard and fast rules, but generally, it's best not to use your body scrub every day. It will all depend on your skin type and needs – so if you have sensitive skin, scrub once a week; if your skin tends to be oily, you can use it twice or three times a week. All in all, test how your skin reacts and feels after scrubbing, and be mindful not to over-exfoliate. Over-exfoliation can lead to dryness, irritation, and a damaged skin barrier.
Also, no matter your skin type, be gentle when using a body scrub. It's recommended to apply a body scrub to wet skin and gently massage it onto your skin using light circular motions.
In addition, if you have acne and open sores or if your skin is sunburned, broken, or recovering from recent injuries or chemical peels, it's best not to use body scrubs at all.
As you can see, making your own body scrub is pretty quick and easy. Play around and add the ingredients you love. In addition to these ideas and recipes, you can come up with plenty more and use corn starch, rice bran, baking soda, or wheat bran.
However, if you have extremely sensitive skin or suffer from rosacea or eczema, consult your dermatologist before using any scrub. On the other hand, if your skin is healthy, then we're certain these homemade preparations will surely make your skin even more beautiful and radiant.
Which is better sugar or salt scrub?
Sugar scrubs, especially those containing brown sugar, are milder and less abrasive. Therefore, sugar scrubs are suitable for your whole body. In contrast, salt scrubs are a bit grittier with more abrasive particles and should be used only for scrubbing those extremely dry areas of your body, such as your elbows and feet.
What is sugar scrub made of?
Sugars scrubs contain sugar as an exfoliator mixed with some sort of oil. You can use any type of sugar, including pure cane sugar or brown sugar. As for the oils, choose a bit heavier one, like olive oil or coconut oil, as these will nourish your skin and minimize the abrasiveness of the scrub.
What kind of salt do you use for a body scrub?
By default, salt has much grittier particles compared to sugar, so always choose finely ground salt for your DIY body scrub. Still, no matter what kind of salt you're using, these scrubs are a bit too harsh on the skin, so use them only on your heels and elbows.
How long do homemade scrubs last?
Once you make your homemade body scrub, store it in an airtight container in the fridge. In general, sugar and coffee scrubs should last up to one month, while salt scrubs can last up to two months. But it's best to make less and use it up as soon as possible.
Do homemade body scrubs go bad?
Homemade body scrubs can last one to two months without going bad. However, you need to be careful and don't let any water get into your scrub since moisture and water can make it moldy. So, when scrubbing, scoop out enough of the scrub for one use, and put the rest back into the fridge.